A tax on oat and rice milk, not cow’s milk and chocolate milk

A tax on oat and rice milk, not cow's milk and chocolate milk
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Most plant-based dairy products, such as rice drinks and drinks made with oats, almonds, coconut, nuts and grains, are classified as lemonade and will be taxed more heavily on January 1, 2024. It does not matter if sugar is added or not.

This is the government’s response to parliamentary questions from the Animals Party. This party wants to know why there is no tax increase on animal dairy products and vegetable products.

According to the Cabinet, the exclusion of animal dairy products has historically grown because milk is still considered a health product and a basic necessity of life. The exception also applies to soy drinks with vitamin B12 and calcium added.

More tax revenue

Next year, the excise duty on nonalcoholic beverages, including plant-based dairy products, will increase from about 17 to 26 cents per liter. The tax increase aims to increase tax revenue. According to the alliance agreement between VVD, D66, CDA and CU, it generates 300 million euros annually.

Although the excise tax increase does not serve a health purpose, the Cabinet still wants to maintain an exception for animal dairy products. This is because the Board of Health has said that a few servings of dairy products per day can reduce the risk of colon cancer and diabetes.

And although the Cabinet wants to make sure that people eat and drink more plant proteins rather than animal proteins, the Cabinet still wants to increase excise duty on plant-based dairy products.

Chocolate milk with sugar

The Party for the Animals question why chocolate milk with sugar is included in the tax exemption for cow’s milk and other animal dairy products did not receive a clear answer.

The Cabinet points to research to impose some kind of “sugar tax” on sweet soft drinks for the health effect. “The current exclusion for dairy products and soy beverages will also be considered,” the letter says. It is not clear how far these soft drink tax plans have gone.

Another plan to encourage healthy behavior by raising taxes, lowering value added tax on fruits and vegetables, is at risk of failing. Yesterday it was announced that research has shown that this plan is too expensive and will have no effect.

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